There are those times, when a good friend whom you met on a Solo backpacking trip in Panama, and ended up travelling together, to then once again meeting up 2 years later in Las Vegas, decides the time has come again to reunite, and what better place to reunite then in Mallorca!! Well there are those times for me, that’s for sure:) So in a case like this, there is no other way to go about things, then to make the whole experience epically memorable, and full of awe and amazement. On this particular day, we decided it would be a good idea to have some lunch, somewhere awesome of course, and check out one of the many caves on the island. Just another typical day in Mallorca.. First off we hopped in our ‘little’ rental car, and put the pedal to the metal! Just two awesome chic’s, cruising the island highways, absorbing all the phenomenal scenery. From ocean view, to cruising up mountains, and even doing both at the same time, to also flat farm land, and then vineyard land, Mallorca leaves nothing out. So after once again astonishing ourselves with the stunning landscape, we were feeling about ready for some lunch! We then burned on over to the little town of Alaro, where you will find the famous Mallorca lamb restaurant nicely nestled into the side of a mountain. To get up the mountain you either need to cruise up, or hike up, on the tiny and very windy road(and yes I do mean Wine-Dee), although if you are thinking of wind, it was a tad bit windy as well. Not to mention barely wide enough to fit one car, so it’s always an interesting scenario when someone is coming in the opposite direction. Anyway after cruising up the mountain in our little car with no guts… Long behold, there it was, in all its Glory. Es Verger, A.K.A ‘The Lamb Restaurant’.
It is a family run restaurant, on a little farm, where lamb and sheep are running around with ample space to frolic, and bell’s on to boot. Literally, they all have bell’s on their neck, and it’s actually really cute, but I tried not to get attached, hence the name of the place. The Lamb Restaurant is very well known in Mallorca, and it’s a must visit destination when on the island.
Well what are you waiting for?? Come on in!!
It’s always a busy place, even in the winter.
Upon entering, they locate you some seats at any table that has enough space for you and your crew. It adds to the event for sure when you join a table full of people whom are already having a great time, and also salivating over their meals. It gives you a great opportunity to mingle with new people, and share this lovely experience. Sharing things in life just makes it that much more enjoyable. They do offer a house red wine, which to be honest isn’t too bad, and its nicely served in a plain glass bottle, yup can’t get more down home farm style then that! The two most popular items on the menu are, suckling pig, and… I doubt you guessed it. It is quite a long shot.. However, YES, if Lamb flashed through your mind, your a winner! Both are slow cooked for about 4 hours, to ensure the meat is unforgettably tender.
I had to put that pic up, I fell in love with that little guy. He was the sweetest and happiest person, and still working hard for a living! Unstoppable:)
We both opted for the lamb, and let me put it to you this way… We didn’t speak. We almost forgot we were both there. Then we would look up, see each other, and all we could say was, ‘Wow, this is amazingly good’. It was soooo tender, and you could taste the herbs.. And as we all know, lamb and potatoes go hand in hand, or at least they really compliment each other when sitting side by side on a plate. So you get some nice roasted potatoes and a salad on the side. It is all about the meat though. Delish! Once you have finished chowing down, and enjoying that ridiculously delicious meal, you can finish it off with some flaming coffee. Its flaming, and freaken strong!! Holy smokes… well that is what was coming out of my mouth! or at least that would be a good description of what it felt
like;).. However if you like a stiff drink, as well as coffee, and maybe you’re a bit of a pyromaniac, then this drink is right up your alley!! There is also a hike from the restaurant up to the top of the mountain, where there sits the Alaro Castle. You can do it before hand to work up an appetite, or you can do it after to work off all the food you stuffed yourself with. Either/or, it’s so worth the hike. It’s a beautiful view from the top, and there is a little café there if you would like a beverage while you soak up your surroundings, and snap some photo’s! It nice just to sit there and treat your eyes, while massaging the soul with the spectacular scenery. Now to get back into the car, and roll down this mountain!! Yah, really, the gas pedal isn’t so necessary.. you can totally roll. No pun intended.
Once we were ready to continue on our glorious adventure filled Mallorca day, and after we closed our eyes and put our finger on the Mallorca map, it appeared the next stop was going to be on the East of the Island, destination, Arta. Where in fact we were going to visit some Caves. The caves of Arta, are just one of 6 caves on the Island, each of the different cave locations are different and unique from one another. It’s one of my missions to visit all of them:) 1.5 hours later, and we were in Arta. It was a super quiet little town, and we really didn’t see a lot of people. Now we needed to be pointed in the right direction. Off we went to a little bar to ask for assistance. We were greeted by a cute little older lady, and even though I am pretty decent at speaking Spanish, I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to say ‘CAVE’… Darn it!! So I opted to describe it to her in Spanish, what I said to her, would translate in English to, ‘ We are looking for a mountain that all the tourist’s like to visit, and they can go inside of it and it’s very beautiful.’ ‘Do you by chance, know where that is?’… Well she was looking at me a little bewildered, and her response was, ‘A mountain, that people go inside? I have no idea. But there is a Castle that the tourist’s love to go see’. Haha.. Nope as much as we love castles, that wasn’t the purpose of this escapade, and our time is running short, because its 4:30pm, and the caves lock up at 5. I plugged in my phone into the outlet to get some charge so I could tell her the name of what we were looking for… Then the cute yet spunky little older lady gave me crap(in Spanish of course) for plugging my phone in without asking…. Oops!(understandable though). So I apologized and unplugged it, then she gave me crap again, and said “Plug it back in!’ and said she was only saying I should have asked first, and she forcefully in a cute little older lady verbal way, made me plug it back in. So once it turned back on, and I pulled up the info, first thing I thought was, ‘Would you look at that, yup, of course, Caves in Spanish is just “Cuevas”… haha, really now’. Good to know! I was able to then tell her ‘Cuevas de Arta, in Canyamel’. Well that light bulb in her cute little face almost burst it lit up so fast! She knew exactly where we were going, and with huge arm gestures, and a bit of excitement she gave me our directions. In which case we did the typical Spanish gesture of kissing her on both cheek’s, which she loved, and we thanked her and hit the road. She was so sweet, even when she gave me crap;)
6km later and we were in Canyamel! Driving up the beautiful scenic road on the mountain till we reached the Caves, that tower over the sea. The parking lot was pretty much empty, but the box office was still open. We paid our ticket, and the guy told us we had to wait 20 min for our tour.. No worries! As the view was spectacular and we were happy to embrace some of it. I needed a bit of caffeine to give me an energy boost after all that lunch and driving.
Not a bad place to enjoy a cup of Java.
20 min later and it was go time! Our awesome tour guide, had arrived. He unlocked the gate keeping us outside the Caves, and welcomed us in. We walked in, and the utter amazement hit us like a brick wall, There were stalactites of huge proportions, taking on extrordinary shapes hanging from the very high arched roofs, and then there were the stalagmites, beautifully growing up from the ground . Just one more reason I love living places in the Winter, because there are no other tourist’s, we had a private tour of these incredible caves, for only a few bucks and a sweet ass road trip. We were told that in the summer, it’s crazy, with bus load after bus load of tourist’s, and groups of up to a hundred people at a time, with kids suddenly turning into monkeys, and wanting to climb all the formations. Being in those massive and extremely impressive caves, just the three of us, was astounding. It was so empty, calm, quiet, there was nothing else inside, but hollow peacefulness. The Caves of Arta have been open for public viewing with tours for over 200 years. Way back in the day, they lit the whole place with candles to provide light inside, and you can see all the black everywhere that was left from burning candles inside for so many years. It is so freaken cool. It takes 5000 years for the stalagmites to grow 1 centimeter, so you can see these have been growing for an extremely long time. Longer then we can really fathom in our minds. They take on different shapes, and with your imagination you can see all sorts of things from jelly fish, a thinking person, a lion, and even long draping curtains. It was said that Gaudi had visited the Caves several times, would spend days in there, getting inspiration for his Art. True though, when you see these Caves, and you see the structures Gaudi built, you can totally see the resemblance. There is an interesting tidbit of a fact for you:)
This particular structure is known as the ‘Mother’, and she has been here for about 80 thousand years and she still hasn’t reached the roof yet. Apparently at one time, a very wealthy person decided they wanted to buy her, they were going to cut her out and bring her home. Supposedly in the beginning the owner of the Cave was going to sell her, but then decided not to, and that the cave should remain as is, and intact. Thank goodness for that! I feel she belongs there, exactly where she is meant to be. One more interesting fact is that all the Caves in Mallorca, are privately owned. I wouldn’t mind having my own cave, especially if it was a stunner like this one! There was one point where our lovely Mallorquine guide, who was so full of Charisma, and was able to speak about 5 different languages, turned off all the lights in the caves, and we were all standing there in total darkness, you could feel the remote emptiness, yet there was such an energy about this place. He said he doesn’t normally do that on tours, but because we were three, and literally the only three, he could do things a bit differently, and that this would heighten our senses for the little light and music show. Which it definitely did! 45 min after entering the cave and we were done our tour.
The whole experience was AMAZING! And having the whole place to ourselves almost made it a bit magical. We were on a high from it, and couldn’t stop talking about it all night. What can I say, Mallorca is Awesome, and so was this reunion with one of my fav travel buddies. I love when you make no solid plans, and randomly pick places to see during an adventure day, it blows your mind, just like the wind blowing your hair;) And ends up being so much better then you even imagined it to be. Happy Days!!